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Stories of Sri Ramakrishna – Lessons and Teachings from Stories Told By Sri Ramakrishna


Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to say small stories which contained valuable life lessons. Here is a collection of stories of Sri Ramakrishna containing important teachings.


Foolish Disciple 

In a forest, there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all. 

A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry: ‘Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!’ 

All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. 

The mahut of the elephant was shouting: ‘Run away! Run away!’ But the disciple didn’t move. The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. 

Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage.

With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, ‘You knew the elephant was coming—why didn’t you leave the place?’ ‘But’, he said, ‘our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn’t run away.’

At this the teacher said: ‘Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahut God forbid you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn’t you trust the mahut’s words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God.’

A story on the power of habit that keeps out truth

A group of fisherwoman who were on their way home from a distant market was caught in heavy rain. So they took shelter in the home of a flower seller. The florist opened the room where he used to stock his flowers and asked the fisherwomen to take rest there at night and start their journey early morning.

The room was filled with fragrance of various flowers and this made the fisherwomen uncomfortable. None of them were able to sleep.

Then one fisherwoman came up with an idea that they should sprinkle some water on their fish baskets so that it will generate foul smell which will make them sleep.

All the other women agreed to the idea and they sprinkled water on their fish baskets and kept it near their head and slept peacefully. The fragrance of the flowers did not trouble them.

Such indeed is the power of influence and habit. The worldly soul brought up in and accustomed to materialistic thoughts and surrounding cannot breathe long in an atmosphere of purity and renunciation without feeling restlessness and discomfort. 

Sadhu with Occult Power – Story Told By Sri Ramakrishna

Once upon a time a sadhu acquired great occult powers. He was confused about his powers.  But he was a good man and had some austerities to his credit. To help him one day God, disguised as a holy man, came to him and said, ‘Revered sir, I have heard that you have great occult powers.’

The sadhu received the Holy Man cordially and offered him a seat. Just then an elephant passed by.

The Lord, in the disguise of the holy man, said to the sadhu, ‘Revered sir, can you kill this elephant if you like?’ The sadhu said, ‘Yes, it is possible.’ So saying, he took a pinch of dust, muttered some mantras over it, and threw it at the elephant. The beast struggled awhile in pain and then dropped dead.

The Lord said: ‘What power you have! You have killed the elephant!’ The sadhu laughed.
Again the Lord spoke: ‘Now can you revive the elephant?’ ‘That too is possible’, replied the sadhu. He threw another pinch of charmed dust at the beast. The elephant writhed about a little and came back to life.

Then the Lord said: ‘Wonderful is your power. But may I ask you one thing? You have killed the elephant and you have revived it. But what has that done for you? Do you feel uplifted by it? Has it enabled you to realize God?’ Saying this Lord vanished.